This year, St Paul’s School is providing an incubator to help develop pupil businesses in a formal, structured manner. The Start it PRO incubator programme is designed to help Upper Eighth or recent Old Pauline start-ups in their infancy succeed by providing resources, seed funding, mentoring and training.
The programme will take place over a 12 month period and culminate in a ‘graduation day’ at St Paul’s School where successful applicants are expected to share their experiences.
Applicants will need to submit a comprehensive business plan to NPT@stpaulsschool.org.uk by 12 February 2021 and partake in a follow up interview to evaluate the credibility of their start-up. If successful, the entrepreneur/s will be actively supported with access to a wide range of industry-specific mentors from the Old Pauline network, pro bono professional advice, and funding up to a maximum amount of £3,000.
Successful companies that have already emerged from St Paul’s during the last few years include VenturePad, SureLight and Airband and the school is committed to evolving the support available for its entrepreneurs.
Please note that any student assuming the role of a director of a limited company is taking on a very serious responsibility. Equally serious is the maturity and discipline required in the securing of funding and the sustainable growth and management of a business. If you do not possess these qualities you should not apply.
- Only current Upper Eighth and Old Paulines who have left the school within the last five years are eligible. There is no requirement for the applying team to be made up entirely of Paulines/Old Paulines and teams that have incorporated a diverse array of members from non-Pauline backgrounds will be looked upon favourably.
- Social enterprises and concepts with a clear remit to benefit the environment or humanitarian causes will be given special consideration.
- Further special consideration will be given to applicants who have already secured, or attempted to secure, some degree of investment from an arms-length source.
- No amount greater than £3,000 will be available to any one applicant or team, and actual funds awarded may be significantly lower than this. Your business plan should outline how funds will be spent (director or employee salaries funded by Start it PRO are prohibited, but any other reasonable business costs are permitted).
- The executive committee of Start it PRO is responsible for the awarding of funds and reserves the right to reject business plans which are not deemed viable. Lack of viability could be because of (but not limited to): unsubstantiated market research; unfeasible business idea; little or no evidence of other attempts to raise funds from other sources; poor disciplinary record of the individuals involved. Any decision will be based on a thorough assessment of the business plan submitted by the applicant and subsequent interviews with key personnel.
- Funds will be provided in the form of a loan, terms and conditions of which are outlined in the Start it PRO loan agreement.
- The annual deadline for submitting plans for consideration by the Start it PRO executive: 12 February 2021
Successful applicants will be expected to present their progress at the end of the 12 month incubator programme. If you have any questions please direct these to NPT@stpaulsschool.org.uk. Business plans should also be emailed to this address.